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Texas Gun Sense on Senate Deal

Weak bill likely to be weakened in process
Michael King, 8:55pm, Thu. Apr. 11, 2013

Like plenty of observers, the Texas Gun Sense anti-gun violence organization is skeptical of the compromise gun legislation pending in the U.S. Senate. Board Member John Woods issued a statement saying that while the background check bill represents progress, it's too narrow in scope, and will likely be weakened in negotiations.

Here's the statement:

"Expanding the background check system is an extremely important and worthy goal, and we are incredibly pleased that this conversation is getting the attention that it deserves. Over fifty Texans are killed by way of firearms every week, and with universal background checks, we believe we can significantly reduce the number and frequency of such tragedies.

"However, we are deeply concerned about the compromise crafted between Senators [Joe] Manchin and [Pat] Toomey, which would only require background checks in "commercial settings," such as on internet auction sites and at gun shows. It would not require background checks on other bulletin boards -- nor, for that matter, in parking lots outside of gun shows, nor on street corners.

"Do not be mistaken: if the legislation were to pass in the compromise form, it would save lives. But the compromise bill will likely be subject to a number of amendments by the gun industry. These will further weaken established law and cause even more lives to be lost.

"Eight in ten Texans support universal background checks, including a majority of Tea Party members. If lawmakers like Senators [Ted] Cruz and [John] Cornyn would represent their constituents, and not the gun industry, we have a reasonable chance of crafting sound public policy that will save lives. But with 90% of Americans and 78% of Texans on the side of universal background checks, we see little need for compromises -- particularly the sort that will be weakened further on the House side."

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